Comcast Gaffe Boosts Its Image As An Overbearing Media Conglomerate

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A private e-mail from Comcast containing a harsh response to a critical Tweet about its hiring of a key federal regulator as a lobbyist has once again focused attention on the media conglomerate’s size and power, underscoring the crucial role it plays in the media-driven economy.Comcast has publicly apologized for a staffer’s move to cut off funding to Reel Grrls, a small media non-profit in Seattle. The group had recently Tweeted its shock at the hiring of Federal Communications Commissioner Meredith Atwell Baker in the wake of her approval of Comcast’s merger with NBCUniversal this January.

But media reform group Free Press continued to gleefully milk the gaffe on Friday by publicizing a video that the Reel Grrls made shortly after the whole incident.

Meredith Baker has defended her move to NBCUniversal.

In a statement issued last week, she said she was proud of her eight years of government service, and that she is excited about the next phase of her career.

Free Press did not win its campaign to block the merger between the network and the cable company, but Reel Grrls’ nimble moves have helped it to promote the image of Comcast as a big, bad, powerful bully — not a great image to have when there are already plenty of people worried about the impact of media consolidation and Comcast’s control of the broadband pipes into our homes.

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